I’m delighted to announce that The Church in the Darkness is finally coming out on PlayStation 4 on August 2nd!
We have been working hard to finalize the game since its announcement some time ago. Because it’s not just a game in which you infiltrate a sect, it’s also a game designed to be replayed, both for its procedurally generated gameplay, but also for its constantly changing story.
We want you to wonder each time: how dangerous is this sect and what can I do?
The Church in the Darkness takes place in a religious sect in the 1970s, a time when people were trying to create new models of society, and sometimes these groups went very badly. Our group is called the Collective Justice Mission and relocated to South America to found a socialist utopia in the jungle. The peculiarity of the game comes from the fact that we change the personalities of the leaders of the sect every time you play.
You infiltrate the group to check if your nephew Alex is doing well. The game has many elements that allow for replayable gameplay, such as changing targets and locations, or modified guard configurations. But we also use procedural narration techniques to change the beliefs and motivations of cult leaders.
As you immerse yourself in the world of Freedom Town by listening to the leaders of the sect read letters and documents through the public address system, or by talking to a few friendly followers, you have to judge the world. level of dangerousness of the sect.
But whatever version of the sect you’re dealing with, you’ll have to watch out for the guards, because this group does not tolerate intruders in their city. In my research on real-world sects, what fascinated me most is how these organizations can be very difficult to understand from the outside.
Indeed, those who are part of the group do not see it at all as a sect. Even if a group has characteristics similar to those of a cult, as long as the people who are part of it do not harm themselves or others, they have the right to live as they wish.
So if you come from outside, how would you know if this group is a cult? Designing a replayable game with a story that changes allows you to explore this story from every point of view.
In our launch trailer above, we give you some clues. You will find written messages on sticks in the ground, which will say one thing in one game, but something else on the next. A metal sculpture may be the subject of a strange cult the first time, and then be stoned the next time. You may be able to quickly guess which group is the best, but the answers are often more complex than that.
The game is based on choices. What will happen once you find your nephew Alex? He may be fine, he may want to leave, or he may be in between. By asking some characters, you may be able to find out where Isaac and Rebecca’s leaders are, and you can then decide to tell them what you saw and learned.
In addition to the classic infiltration gameplay that allows you to adopt lethal, non-lethal methods, and everything in between, you’ll also need to make key narrative choices about Alex, Isaac, and Rebecca. All the choices you make during the game feed our system to decide the next story, as well as the many possible endings. To help players explore the different possibilities, we have added an “Endings” screen, which allows you to see what you have unlocked so far.
The Church in the Darkness
We also wanted to maintain a certain level of difficulty when you play several times. The difficulty system of the game can significantly increase the level of challenge at each level.
When you replay, you can raise the level of difficulty for an even more intense gaming experience, allowing you to get unique badges on the final screens, and track your overall progress. And of course, by completing the toughest levels, you can win great trophies and all you need to do to win the precious Platinum Trophy.
The Church in the Darkness is a project that I have carried with passion for many years. With what we’ve done at the level of experimental storytelling, I can not wait to see how players will grasp the game, and I’m curious if some will guess how the mechanism works. In the jungle, there are no easy answers, and I can not wait to hear the conclusions you draw from your own story.